What's in a Name?

Ecstasy (n)- 2. Excessive joy; rapture; a degree of delight that arrests the whole mind; joy may rise to ecstasy. (Websters 1828 Dictionary)
Doldrums (n)- A sate of inactivity or stagnation.(Dictionary.com)

Friday, April 18, 2008

More of the evening with the Dennys

And here is Kayla just before she sang her song. Pat was telling a story to the captivated and anticipating audience. I would've taken one of her singing, but I wanted to video it instead.
Aren't they so cute together? She looked simply stunning this evening- and she wasn't dressed to the nines either! She just has such natural beauty- God given beauty.
This is Josiah's sister Natasha! She's so sweet and gentle. She sings as well as plays the violin and she's got this great tone to her voice- very soothing. She's only 14, but she looks older than me! You should see her in the bridesmaid dress!
Hannah Banana and Natasha the Smasha (as George, Hannah's dad, calls her). Aren't they gorgeous?

An Evening With Bluegrass

Well, I've attempted to download the video of Kayla singing "The Hand Song" by Nickel Creek several times and it just doesn't want to download. So, I thought I'd start out with a visual retelling of the concert.

There was a spaghetti dinner before the concert and I was soooo pleased to see the Wardwells enter the front door of the church. They are so great. The above picture may look odd, but I had to take it. Hannah had a huge chunk of lettuce in her salad that she attempted to cut with her plastic knife- she succeeded!
There they is, the lovely Hannah Banana and the dashing John-Boy. They were sweet enough to sit next to me during the concert and endure my coughing and sniffling.
This kinda looks a bit odd, but it's hard to catch people singing without making them look slightly goofy. Josiah is the one playing the upright, Pat (Kayla's future father-in-law and our pastor) is playing the banjo and Lance (Josiah's younger brother) is on guitar.
I absolutely love Mishayla's sweet little bluegrass voice. She's so full of fun and joy! One of my favorite songs they sing is If that don't make you wanna go, I don't know what does in which she sings most of the song. It's a song about heaven with a great tune!

Looking Backward and Froward

The next time someone asks me what I do I am going to tell them that I run a lady bug extermination camp. I'm serious!! My little corner of the room, where my bed is, must have a huge, invisible-to-the-human-eye sign that says "All Lady Bugs in Maine, Come Hither." I have to vacuum every day and I suck up tons and tons of them. This evening I spent ten minutes getting everyone that I could find around my bed and window. It looked like the coast was clear! I smiled the sweet smile of victory, returned the vacuum to it's special, handy dandy spot only to return to find six more lady bugs. It's as if they were saying, "HAHAHA! You will never win! We will ALWAYS return!!!" I gave a loud cry of despair and prepared for another night in the company of the little orange and black warriors. One night I woke up to find one behind my ear! Not pleasant. I have probably swallowed some in my sleep, but hey, as long as I don't know about it, I don't care. I wonder what the protein content in lady bugs is....... anyway. On to a more interesting subject.

Last year our church had it's first annual family camp at Dunn's Campground. It was such a blessing in many ways. It was also a growing experience for me. I came face to face with my selfishness and pride, which was humbling, but so very needed. We also became tightly knit as a church and have stayed that way.
Looking back on camp last year makes me look forward to it this year. It's a little over a month away and we will be there. Playing volleyball, being competitive(we have some really competitive people in our fellowship), memorizing scriptures, listening to Biblical teaching, enjoying the sounds of the lake in the early morning, rowing out in the middle to do devotions, escaping from the world of fast paced electronics and hyper images and experiencing the sweet fellowship that only people who know Jesus can.
I tend to forget how important it is to be still and think about these precious memories and the lessons learned from them. I want to be filled with the peace of God and not worry so much about missing things, but just let Him bring them to me and respond in the way that Jesus would- with gratefulness and contentment.
For the next week I get to stay with my cousins Renee and Kristy while my Aunt Angie and Uncle Rob go on a cruise to tropical paradise. I've been looking forward to this as well. Parts of me are always afraid to look forward to things, because sometimes they don't turn out as well as I anticipated them turning out. But as Anne Shirley would say, getting excited about things is half the fun of it! So I will expect good things and be thankful regardless of what happens. Because God is good.
I won't be posting anything for the next week, so that's why I have posted so often the past couple of days. I hope that you all have a great week- vacation for some, trips for some (I'm looking forward to pictures Ali!!) and just the normal grind for others. Whatever you are doing and wherever you are, may God bless you!

Look at what I found!!

And so, after all this time that Lori has teased me about being obsessed with Jane Austen, lo and behold she has been a closet fan! I just write little posts here and there and read a book or two about her, but Lori has written a book about her! Long gone are the days of teasing!!

disclaimer: In case you didn't get the joke- the Lori Smith that wrote this book is NOT the Lori Smith that I know! (I just didn't want to get sued or anything!)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Shameless Plug

My friend and almost sister (hard to explain), Jenna is starting a new magazine for young ladies who are still at home living with their parents and have decided not to go to college. I was able to contribute a bit to it, but there are lots of other things in the magazine that you might find interesting. I found it encouraging and inspiring. It is nice to see young ladies persuing buisnesses that not only build character, but bless others as well. If anyone is interested in this quarterly magazine titled Already Not Yet, you can email Jenna at :

Even if you're just interested in learning more about it, I'm sure she'd appreciate an email!

Spring, Spring, Spring

"O the barnyard is busy in a regular tizzy and the obvious reason is because of the season....." So goes one of the songs in my favorite movie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Seeing all of the grass finally emerge from underneath the snow and watching the color come back to Maine makes me want to sing! So, I will.
I thought the other blog template was in need of a change along with spring and I decided to go with the boring, plain old white because they nothing I post will clash with the background. If this blog is a long term thing, I would eventually like to design my own template- but that's a lot of work and takes brain powere, of which I am limited.

Today Lori walked to our house and the boys played outside for awhile. It was great to be out in the warm, spring air with a friend. Lovely. After lunch I brought Kayla to meet the Dennys near the turnpike because they are all going to Canada to do a concert this weekend. Kayl (not a typo, that is my nickname for her) was all twitter pated and smiles to see 'Siah. Such is the life of a young lady in love. I have attempted to post a video of her singing at their last concert, but I think my computer doesn't like the idea. I suppose I shall keep trying! After dropping Kayla off, I enjoyed my ride back home- with the windows rolled down and the music turned up! I love the feeling of sandals and capris and it is sooooo exciting to be able to wear both for the next couple of days. The rest of the afternoon was spent finishing my book- yes, about Jane Austen- on the porch, soaking up the sun and "freckling." Eli asked me where freckles came from and I told him that they were kisses from God. I know it's not theologically sound, but it sounded nice and he didn't ask anymore questions- usually he asks "why" or "how," but he didn't. He just smiled. He makes me smile a lot. Yesterday, when I was giving the three smith boys a bath something else made me smile. I took Andrew out of the tub to get him dressed in the other room and I hear: "It fell in the toilet! It fell in the toilet!" I speeded up the dressing of Andrew and stumbled back into the bathroom only to find the barely used bar of soap in the toilet. I wasn't going to fish that out because there were other elements in the toilet along with it, so I flushed the toilet, not thinking (duh!) that the soap would go down too. Thankfully it didn't clog up the toilet and after awhile it will disintegrate. After the initial shock, I just laughed. It was pretty funny!

The above picture is a riot! As a long shot, you can't really see, but click on the picture and then look at Adam's (in the red) face. It's hilarious- we all were sitting around the picture trying to figure out how to make the face, but we can't!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Journey to Narnia Part 2

The other day I wrote down a memoir in my journal about the whole experience- about everything fun and humorous that I could think of that happened during this production, so rather than try to reword it, I'm just going to copy it:
"The play is over. It was another one of those times where our entire cast got really close during the last few weeks of the show. The play itself was a big success and we had great crowds- selling out two shows our last weekend at 300 seats, with great reactive audiences (they clapped when the white witch died!). There were a few injuries- Brie (Maugrim) was bruised and stabbed in the knee area, Sarah (Wolf) broke her ankle after leaping offstage and Kathi (Dryad) got stepped on and her ankle was so swollen that she couldn't be in either of the last shows (but hey, she'll have a great conversation starter: I was once stepped on by a Giant!).
I had lots of fun getting close to Meg Varney and arm wrestling, thumb wars and re-enacting Mr. Beaver's sleucegate scene backstage. We were even auctioned off as a 'pair of perfectly matching leopards' for $1,000 at one of the mic checks. I'll always remember Marcel's (Mr. Tumnus) 'sardine' mic checks, Carla Rose (White Witch) always having something side-splitting to say. Mary's (Dwarf) great facial expressions and vivacious energy. Michael's (Peter) 'martini mime' to the battle scene music and Zach's (Edmund) commercial for 'sardine cakes.' Emily (Lucy) running across the auditorium with the back of her dress unzipped in a 'wickt, wickt' hurry. I always laugh at Bill's (Father Christmas) forgetting to bring the lampost on and then putting it on at the wrong time ('Why is there a lampost in the professor's house?'). The first time Meg and I did our own costume changes and came out as Queens- I, looking like I got beat up and hair frizzing like the bride of frankenstein, small crown falling off my head, Meg with traces of intensely, perfectly drawn leopard spots still on her forehead- attempting to say our lines while she smirks at me and Warren an Czach start cracking up, stopping for a moment only to hear Robbi laugh loudly in the background, all the while rotating around a lampost that wasn't there! Bob(Aslan) always messing up his line, telling Peter that the noise was his 'daughter's horn' and suggesting that Meg and I carry him in on a chair (he is the king, after all).
I remember standing next to Linda (Mrs. Beaver)- also Bob's wife- and hearing her say, 'I don't know about you girls, but I see two foxes over there!'- alluding to Warren (Fox) talking to her husband. I'll remember the girls in the bathroom discussing our spoof production of The Tiger, The Sorcerer and the Bathroom Stall. I'll remember nearly going onstage as Queen Susan with my leopard tail sticking out- thankfully Bob let me know about it! The first night we heard our curtain call music we did some scottish step dancing around the stage.
Dan's (Mr. Beaver) sheer excitement building more and more each night he got his new 'sleuce gate!' The pink beaver tails. Rian (Wolf) knocking me over and actually hitting me during one of the battle scene rehersals. Being so excited for Hannah when I heard she got Susan and watching her shine onstage and offstage as she became dear to everyone in the cast. Warren, sitting, arms resting around the shoulders of 4-5 girls that surrounded him. Dancing in the dressing room with little Emily. Emily Wardwell's hard work and service- seeking to help anyone she could, whenever she could- radiating Christ's love. Ashley's hard work with costumes, her creativity, her initiated, super-fun game of 'vicious duck-duck-goose.' Marcel's ukelele and impression of the beavers as the beaver from the Lady and the Tramp (with the whistling "s"). Robbi giving stage directions only to be interrupted by her cell phone ringing to the tune of 'singin in the rain' upon which everyone stopped to do a little tap dancing.

God truly blessed this performance and this cast and I am so thankful for His goodness."

Monday Meditations

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.

~ Jude 1:24-25

There's not much I can say about this verse. It displays God's ultimate power over His entire creation. Just meditating on it makes me want to praise Him!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Our family on youtube

As I'm home sick from church today, I thought I would post something on my blog. I would much rather be at church, but I didn't want to expose everyone to this horrible cold bug. Ali brought this excerpt from the muppet show to our attention and I agree with her that it is perfect for our family- if you know my mom, you'll understand why!

Friday, April 11, 2008

My Journey to Narnia Part 1

The past two or so months have been consumed with rehersals and fittings for King's Bridge Theatre's production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I can't say that I disliked it, though, in fact, I thrive when I'm doing a show. It is one of my favorite past times. This one was paticularly special though, because we became a close-knit theatre family and even enjoyed such things as praying together before shows. It is the first play that I've been in since high school where we actually petitioned the Lord for guidance and asked that He would be glorified.
It wasn't all hard work, as you can see. This sort of thing was going on all around the auditorium and backstage. At any given moment someone could challenge you to an arm wrestling contest or a thumb war! You had to be prepared!
Mr. and Mrs. Beaver were cast so well that people thought they were married. In fact, Mrs. Beaver is actually married to Aslan and Mr. Beaver to a dryad- now if that doesn't sound odd, then I don't know what does!
Carla Rose was the farthest thing, in real life, from a witch, yet when she got into her character she sent chills up your spine!
Mary was hilarious as the dwarf- she stole the show with her humorous facial expressions! I'll post more pics from the show and backstage, as well as the cast party. Hopefully people enjoy them and are not exceedingly bored by them!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Can You Identify This Girl?

This girl somehow manages to get her hands in front of her face almost every time I try to take her picture. Just WHO is this mysterious woman? Try to guess! And then she can comment on this post and let you know who she is!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Chance To Die

Last month I finally finished a great book that I highly recommend! A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot is the biography of famous missionary Amy Carmichael. She has long been one of my inspirations in the faith and this book was so filled with encouragement to pursue godliness. The fact that it took me two months to read it is not because it was boring, but because I didn't have much free time. I just wanted to share some of the things I learned and some memorable quotes:

Amy Carmichael....

...lived with the desire for a "single eye" toward serving, obeying and pleasing God.

...believed in praying fro God's provision of all things monetary and not seeking hand-outs.

...believed that every decision should be weighed with the question, "Does it have the seed of eternity in it?"

...when confined to a bed, still saught to serve God through writing books and letters of encouragement to others.

...highest aim was to be a simple follower of her Master who made Himself nothing, who took the form of the lowest slave in an eastern household.

...took every little thing to the Lord.

Those are just some observations about her character. She was a missionary who was used by God to save dozens of little girls in India from temple prostitution as well as other children who weren't wanted and women and men who desired to know about her King Jesus. Thus, she was given the name Amma- indian for "mother." She spent most of her life in her beloved India and died there surrounded by the people whom God chose to give to her.

Here are some of her quotes:

Dead to self- dead to all one's natural earthly plans and hopes, dead to all voices, however dear, which would deafen our ear to His.

Satan is so much more in earnest than we are- he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost.

Nothing is worth doing at all, nothing is worth writing, which does not do something which will last.

If by doing some work which the undiscerning consider "not spiritual work" I can best help others, and I inwardly rebel, thinking it is the spiritual for which I crave, when in truth it is the interesting and exciting then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon me and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation.

~ Psalm 91:14-16

This verse strengthens my trust in the LORD. He will answer me when I call and be with me when I am facing hardships. He gives honor and deliverance and long life to those who know His name and set their love upon Him. The best gift He gives, though, is the last in this vers: salvation. If we are found in Christ, we will be eternally saved!

Am I setting my love upon God and seeking to know His name?

Farewell SLR

A recent trip to Walmart to pick up a pile of photos converted me from SLR to digital. The cost of these pictures was over $30 and some of them didn't come out well at all! I was so disapointed because I love my Canon Rebel, but I've come to realize that I can't afford it. So, it is shelved right now, perhaps permanently and I have acquired a little canon powershot, which I really like. It's great to be able to see the pictures that you're taking and delete them if they aren't worth printing. I already know that I'm going to save tons of money. I've been a little trigger happy with it though!!
My four year old brother took this picture. Not bad!

And speaking of him- here he is during a saturday siesta!

He loves to give kisses!

Here's Kayla, looking lovely as always!

So, that's what is new with me! I'll keep to my little powershot and I'll leave the beautiful, professional looking photos to Lori!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Valley of Vision

While reading Brokenness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, I came across this wonderful puritan prayer and I thought I would share it:

Lord, High and Holy, meek and lowly,
Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,
Where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.

~ from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions

Monday Meditations

Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

~ Jeremiah 29:12-13

I've often felt like I haven't found God. I've been looking for Him and seeking to be in His prescence, but when I don't find Him right away, I give up. God wants us to seek Him with our WHOLE HEART. With all of our might and all of our mind. He wants persistance. He wants our goal in life to be Him- and He is faithful to be found, when we seek Him with all that we have.

Have I given up on finding God, or am I willing to keep searching until I gain Him?